If you pick up a starving dog and make him prosperous, he will not bite you. This is the principal difference between a dog and a man. Mark Twain

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

How Our Hearts Opened the Doors to Others that Needed Help

Born on 15 November 1998
Passed away peacefully on 13 October 2011
Age 12 yrs and 11 months old

Goldy was a very kind dog who accepted every rescued animal as part of the family;
she shared her life and her home with them. 

Not once has she ever complained that we had strangers in the house and
she knew that her mummy’s journey was to help the voiceless. 

Since the day Goldy walked into our lives,
we opened our hearts in 1999 and helped many dogs and cats.

May Goldy Rest in Peace.

This story was written in Memory of Goldy –the joy and the journey that we travelled together.  If she was still here with us, she would be celebrating her 13th Birthday today. By Lynda

It was 15 February 1999, Chinese New Year eve – it was a half day at work and I decided to go and check out a pet shop “Tim Bark Tu” at Hong Leong Gardens, which my friend, John suggested that I visit.  When I  got there, I walked around to see what was in store, and a 3 month old English Cocker Spaniel puppy caught my eye. The lady in the shop took the puppy out and placed her in a play pen for me to view. I played with her for a while and headed home.

As I was driving home, I could still see the image of her in the play pen calling out to me and saying “take me home”…. There were other customers in the shop looking at her too – but somehow – her eyes were connected to mine.

When I reached home, I had no appetite for my lunch and had no mood to do anything – not even to clean the house to get ready for Chinese New Year. I just couldn’t stop thinking of her.  After an hour of deliberation, I called the pet shop to tell them that I was going to bring her home for the New Year and to wait for me before closing for the holidays. 

Bringing a Puppy Home
It was about 3pm when I arrived at the shop; I paid for the dog and bought the necessary accessories and food to bring this sweet little one home.  You must be wondering why I bought a pet instead of adopting.  Back then in the late ‘90s, there were not many animal welfare organizations and there was only the SPCA, and the criteria to adopt was very stringent.  But after getting Goldy – you won’t believe this – six months later, our doors opened up and we started rescuing and nursing dogs together.  Goldy was the light and path that opened our hearts to helping other animals.

When I brought Goldy home, it was puppyhood all over again… it wasn’t easy having to get up in the wee hours of the morning having to attend to her and I was at my wits end with sleepless nights as I tried to paper train her.  I then started reading about Cocker Spaniels on the internet and fortunately, I was able to get help and advice from the Cocker Spaniel experts who were based overseas. 

I realized that training Cockers is different – you need to use different tones on them – a happy tone to tell them that they did the right thing and angry tones for doing the wrong things.  Screaming and being angry does not work for them – you need to reason and speak to them nicely like an adult – and it worked! 

This little girl graduated from paper training in 10 days!  I was so proud of her and as long as she could go to the paper to pee and poo on her own, she had the freedom to roam about the entire house.

Animal Communication & Dog Training
When I think back about my life with her –  I realized we did communicate in our own ways. But it was only after meeting Rosina, my teacher and mentor, that her teaching was put into perspective;we all can communicate with our pets.

I admit that I made the greatest mistake when she was a puppy – I thought doggy training will be good for her – instead, she disliked it tremendously.  Every Wednesday, whenever it was time to go for training, Goldy would hide under my bed and it was really hard to get her out of the house. And when the training was over – she would dash to the car and say “Let’s go home!”

There are various dog trainers; I would recommend that you find someone that you are comfortable with – check them out and understand their training methods.  The one that we attended – was no fun for a puppy like Goldy, as training should be fun and enjoyable. I still remember how Goldy would face her bum towards the trainer whenever he walked past because she refused to look at him! I knew the trainer was pissed with me, but it didn’t matter. We were not training for a competition so Goldy’s happiness was more important.  Our objective was to learn something that we could apply and she was more than perfect for being able to understand basic commands.

Goldy loved to play on the slides – she would climb up the steps and slide down on her own and we had to make sure that the playground had no children playing about, because we did not wish to get into trouble with the parents.

From left Lady Tian, Goldy and Pebbles - they are now together on the Rainbow Bridge.
Animal Rescue
Goldy and I rescued a lot of animals together.  The number of dogs that received aid was uncountable.  Goldy was a very kind soul and had a heart of gold…. It was natural for other dogs to get jealous whenever their owners bring other pets home. However, there was not a single complaint from Goldy. Admittedly, I do feel guilty that I did not have much time for her – as our rescue work took up so much of my free time – but she knew that this was my journey and she opened the doors to other dogs who crossed my path.

Taking Care of an Old Dog
As Goldy was getting on with age, she started to develop heart problems and tick fever. I almost lost her last October and I am very thankful for Lang, a Weimaraner, who donated blood to Goldy and she was able to live for another year. 

The last one year was not easy, having to bring Goldy to the vet regularly every month for check-ups and having to drain the fluids from her stomach every 10 days.  I owed it to her to take care of her till the day that she was due to leave me – she ha been so patient with me all these years and it was definitely not easy on her part, having to share me with other fur kids.

Everytime we vistited the vet, I knew Goldy’s time with us was getting shorter.  I kept asking her whether I could do anything for her and whether she had any wishes that I could fulfill.  But all she asked was for me to spend time with her. 

Dogs ask for the simplest things from their owners – “quality time”.  Each day after work, I tried to spend as much time with her.  I remember how she would ask me to switch on the air con whenever she was feeling hot – and of course I would do it for her.

Meat Loaf baked by Irene

Meat Loaf, Cup Cakes and Birthday Cake for Goldy
Granting Goldy’s Wish
In early October, we held an adoption drive at the Doggy Style CafĂ© at NEX Shopping Centre and when I saw Lynn celebrating her dog’s birthday, I received a message from Goldy that she would like to have a birthday party to celebrate her 13th Birthday.  I told Irene about Goldy’s wish and she suggested that we celebrate much earlier because Goldy was not feeling well and she might not make it till 15 November. 
On Monday morning, I started planning Goldy’s party; I quickly invited our friends and their fur kids who could make it for the party, called the caterer to order food for the humans and The Barkery to order a doggy birthday cake.

I am very thankful to Elizabeth of The Barkery for taking my call at 11pm and for accommodating my request to bake a birthday cake and cupcakes for Goldy’s birthday party after explaining the situation.  Team members from the Barkey have really gone the extra mile to make a dog’s wish come true.

The Birthday Party
Goldy’s party was held on 11 October at Ericsson Guest House, which was attended by our friends (people and dogs) and family members. The dogs enjoyed the food and had a great time eating the meatloaf and cupcakes. 

Goldy had always loved her food and I was so happy to see that she enjoyed herself as she was eating away and I had granted her wish to have a birthday party.

I would like to thank Irene for making her delicious home-made Shepherd Pies for the doggies.  The shelter dogs too shared the celebration by having a feast.  Irene is our shelter dogs’ favourite cook!

Goldy enjoying her cup cake.

Goldy having a bite at her birthday cake.

Her Last Breath
On Thursday morning, 13 October, Goldy passed away peacefully in her sleep next to me on my bed.  She went peacefully – no struggling to catch her last breath – her heartbeat just stopped.  I know that my dogs who are on the rainbow bridge have taken her away from me and she is now happily playing with them in the Garden of Eden. 

Our Message to all Pet Owners
Whether your dog is young or old, it is our moral obligation to see it through their entire life with care and love.  Dogs never look at how much money you have or own, all they ask is for your love and companionship. 

A PET is a Life Time Commitment till the day they leave this earth.

It is a lot of hard work taking care of old dogs – especially when they are old and sick.  Goldy could no longer walk but she still loves her food.  To me - as long as the dog is still eating and loves their food - I will keep her going till the day she departs and joins her fur friends on the Rainbow Bridge.  

Goldy tends to pee while she is asleep - it does not bother me, I will continue to care for her till her last days.  Although it was extra work to wash the bed sheets – it was part and parcel for a dog to grow old – like humans – one day it will happen to us and our children/caregivers will have to take care of us when we are no longer mobile.  Something for you to think about, what happens if one day you can no longer take care for yourself e.g.  cant feed yourself, cant go to the toilet on your own and become bed ridden  – you need help right?  Will our children take care of us? Will we end up at an old folks home so that someone will feed and clean us up everyday?  Are we prepared to grow old and face it?

No matter how much work is involved - we HAVE to see it through and we owe it to them because we brought them into our lifes.  Like our parents, we owe it to them for brining us into this world and its our duty as children to take care of our aged parents.
Do not abandon your old sick dogs on the streets or somewhere deserted - just because its too much work, the medical cost and pass the dirty job to others to pick up. 

Many times, through our work with the animals, we often encounter old and sick dogs abandoned on the streets and they can be found as far as Lim Chu Kang (farmland areas), Jurong and Tuas (industrial estates). 

I believe whoever abandons or ill treats their pets will have bad karma some time later in their lives.  Whoever thinks about doing it had better think twice and many times more. Because once you’ve brought an animal into your life, it’s your responsibility and you owe it to your pet to look after it through thick and thin, till its very last breath.

Goldy Loved the Sun, the Sand and the Sea like Mummy.

Goldy enjoying her swim at Sentosa.

Watching the World Goes By.....


  1. Goldy was really a dog like no other.. as all the pets in our lives. She's now happy on the other side of the Rainbow bridge, just like my other pets :) keep the good work up Lynda, Goldy is always happy and proud of you!

  2. I just lost my boy recently as well and emotions came over me while reading about Goldy. I cannot help but to agree to what you and many other animal welfare organisations have always said: keeping a pet is a lifetime responsibility. They will see you as part of their family, their leader and their dearest. It just makes me feel disgusted whenever people come out with 101 reasons to abandon their old and sick dog. I do believe in karma too and it definitely wont be good for these people to be treated the way how they treat their best friend when they grow old.

    Anyway, it probably will be a hard period for now but do take care. I'm sure Goldy would have appreciate what you have done for her for her whole life. She would not be Goldy if without you. =)

    Meanwhile, keep up with the efforts! Thank you. =)


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"He is your friend, your partner, your defender, your dog. You are his life, his love, his leader. He will be yours, faithful and true, to the last beat of his heart. You owe it to him to be worthy of such devotion."- Unknown